Marine Biology

Physical Attributes of the Goblin Shark

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"Physical Attributes of the Goblin Shark"
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The goblin shark mitsukurina, owstoni, is a deep-sea shark that has a face that might give children nightmare. The head, of the goblin shark is extremely unorthodox as it is one of the most distinctive fish in the ocean. Very little is known about the goblin shark in areas like life history, and reproductive habits as encounters with them have been somewhat rare. Aside from that, The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) does not believe that there is a reason for them to be on the endangered species list, so they are not.


The goblin shark is a bathydemersal shark found near sea bottom, around depths of 250m. The deepest they have ever been reported is at 1,300. Most goblin sharks are caught around Japan were the sharks were first discovered. Goblin sharks have been around South Africa, in the Pacific Ocean, off coast of New Zealand and Australia. There are also many places in the Atlantic Ocean where they can be found.


Goblin sharks can reach 11 feet in length and 350 lbs. Different than most sharks the goblin sharks fins are rounded not pointed. Their anal and pelvic fins are much bigger than their dorsal fins. The goblin sharks skin is an unusual pink color. This is due to blood vessels under a semi-transparent skin. The front teeth of the goblin sharks are long and smooth-edged, where the back teeth are for crushing. One interesting fact about the goblin sharks is that up to 25% of their body weight can be its liver. Scientists are still not sure why they need such a large liver.


The goblin shark is of an upper-level carnivore in its natural habitat but sense there is no light at the depths to witch they live they must use electro-sensitive organs in the rostrum (snout) to hunt their prey. When the goblin shark comes across its prey it uses a tongue -like muscle to bring the victim to its teeth. Some of the goblin sharks diet includes deep-sea rockfish, cephalopods, crustaceans, squid and crabs.

Almost nothing is known about the goblin sharks reproductive habits partially because they live so deep down in the ocean. Although a pregnant goblin shark has never been caught, it is believed that they are ovoviviparous. This means that that their eggs mature and hatch inside the mothers body and give birth to live young if a pregnate mother was ever caught we would know a lot more about their reproductional habits

More about this author: Carol H. Morgan

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